Getting sick can be a nightmare. You miss just one day of work because you catch a nasty cold and cough, and all of a sudden it feels like you’re a week behind on everything. I mean, it can be hard to even form a sentence when I’m sick—let alone be productive. But, believe it or not, it is totally possible to be productive while you’re sick! (It’s just a different kind of productive than you’re probably used to.) Here are a few things you can do while you’re sick to stay in the game:
Catch up on reading.
Even if you’re a little out of it, reading is an excellent way to be mentally productive. It doesn’t have to be a novel or anything crazy; those posts and articles you’ve been meaning to catch up on are the perfect light-reading for days when you’re not feeling 100%. (And audio books are excellent for those days when you’re really out of it!)
Listen to a podcast or two.
This falls in line with reading but can be beneficial for those really sick days. If you’re not an audio-book fan, podcasts are another great way to stimulate your brain without much effort. (One of my favorites is How I Built This. Give it a try on your next sick day!)
Reschedule your projects.
When in doubt, move your meetings and projects to a day when you’re feeling better. Trust me, some things can wait. You don’t have to save everything you missed for the day you return to work, because—odd are—you won’t be feeling 100% even after you go back to work. Instead, snuggle up with a cozy blanket and a cup of tea, and look through your calendar/planner to find a day where you can really tackle those bigger projects.
Take on an easy to-do.
And while you’re looking through your planner, see if there’s something small you can handle in the mean time. For me, going through my inbox or catching up on light housework are a couple of my go-to small tasks. It might seem silly to go through the junk drawer while you’re sick, but honestly, what else are you doing? Completing these small tasks while you’re sick helps you get the little stuff done while you have the free time!
Connect and stay in touch.
If your days and weeks tend to blur together, you probably haven’t found the time to connect with your friends in a while. So, call a friend if you still have your voice, or text back and forth for a while, if that’s easier. Use this sick time to reconnect with the people who you may not always get to chat with.
Obviously, the most important thing is your health. So, remember to listen to your body and stay hydrated when you’re not feeling well! But, doing these small, simple things when you’re out sick can help you stay productive so you can hit the ground running when you’re ready to return.